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Katarina Build Guide by Shampp

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shampp

You call that a knife? THESE are knives!

Shampp Last updated on August 28, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hey everyone, Shampp again. This time doing a short guide for my first ever bought champ and still one of my favs: Katarina!

This guide will focus on the ability power build of Katarina.

Suggestions are always welcome in the comments. If you have any doubts just try it out a few times, I have been using this build (or builds similar before certain items were introduced to the game) for a long time, trust me it works.

Leave your comments below and please rate, I thank you guys for the support and I will be looking at Karma for my next LoL champion guide!

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For Red runesand QuintsI use Magic Pen. Everything you do will be dealing magic damage so you can't beat the magic pen runes.

For Yellowand BlueI use flat Ability Power runes. The extra boost of ability power is great for early level harass and even early kills (even before you've reached 6).

The reason why I am not using Cool Down Reduction runes (and the same reason I don't get any Cool Down Reduction items) is because of Katarina's passive. Her passive lowers the cool down of all her abilities by 15 seconds after getting an assist or a kill. So as long as you are taking part in fights your cool downs will reduce themselves.

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For masteries I take a 9/21/0 defensive build. There are a couple reasons I do this:
1. defense bonuses for a melee range nuke is huge (especially when used with shumpo)
2. the defense tree contains a nice ability power buff
3. with no mana and no real need for cool down reduction, utility tree does not have much to offer

Obviously I go into offensive to pick up classic ap masteries like AP per level bonus and Magic pen, but also improved exhaust.

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Items are pretty set in stone for this build.

Bootsto start because as melee, extra movement early in lane will do wonders. Building into Magic Penboots to boost your abilities.

Follow these with a snowball ap Soulstealer. Katarina's natural ability to continuously deal damage to multiple champions in fights will feed the Soulstealer like no other.

Next pick up a Blasting Wandand build towards the Crystal Scepter. Health and ability power are great for Kat, but this item is mostly for the slow. The slow will stop enemies from sneaking away from your ult.

Hextech Revolver.. need I say why? Lifesteal for the caster. As a single item maybe not so great, but it is fairly cheap and can make the difference between life or death.

If you can afford it, pick up a Needlessly Large Rod. If you don't have the money for this, pick up another Blasting Wandwhile back at the base and work towards a Death Cap.

Next build an Abyssal Scepter. This item not only gives great ability power and magic resist; but, it has the added affect of lowering enemies resistance when they are near you making your ult even more dangerous. You can pick up a Blasting Wandor Negatron Cloakto start this item. Pick up the magic resist if you feel you are taking too much damage from other AP nukes.

At last you can build your Hextech Revolverinto a Gunblade. More AP, more spell vamp, and a little damage for your Bouncing Blades and Death Lotus.

NOTE: Get a Banshees Veilif you find it too difficult to avoid whatever disables they may be saving for your ult.

**Brought up from a comment**

Countering any champion good against Kat falls under when I get banshees. There's not much else to say about it.. it is the only real way to block is disable other than avoiding them or faking your ult (jumping into a group, throw a bouncing blade, and remain stationary for anyone that may jump the gun on their disables.. such as warwick or malzahar ult). If you unfortunately find yourself disabled during your ult, start throwing dancing and porting around. As your teammates finish off the enemies you will pick up assists and reduce the cool down on your ult.

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Skill Sequence

My first skill is Q: Bouncing Blade. I follow that with E: Shumpo, and W: Killer Instinctsat level 3.

I push to max Bouncing Bladefirst because of its ability to farm creeps and damage champs in one throw.

I then max out Killer Instincts. The added bonus to Shumpo's damage reduction is great for throwing yourself in the middle of fights. Not the mention the passive on this ability which adds damage to your individual daggers (per hit of Bouncing Blade and daggers thrown by Death Lotus).

**Killer instinct at level 5 is an average of about 100extra ap to Bouncing Blade and Death Lotus. This is huge considering it is maxed at level 13! A lot of people underestimate this ability and its uses. Don't be one of them, try it out for yourself! It is worth holding off on shumpo.**

Last is Shumpo. A great single target nuke for finishing off running champs, but I use it mostly for movement to keep the enemy on their toes (and saving my ***.. can't count how many times shumpo has saved me).

Of course pick up the ult Death Lotusat levels 6, 11, and 16.

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Summoner Spells

For summoner spells I use exhaustand ignite.

ExhaustI mostly use as a slow until I pick up my Crystal Scepter. Afterwords I use it to weaken their carries or to keep someone off my tail during team fights.

Igniteon Katarina is my early game killer. The combo of Death Lotus >> shumpo >> bouncing blade >> ignite for champions running away (or jump aways like Cait or Trist) will scare anyone off if it doesn't leave them dead between their towers. Ignite early game has given me too many kills for me to replace it with any other spell. A level 6 Kat with Death Lotus, ignite, and exhaust up will kill most champions. Some of the toughest melee champs (lee sin, tryn, xin, olaf) will fall to this combo and will regret the decision to push a Katarina.

Flashis a popular spell on Katarina because combined with shumpo, the double jump can do wonders. For me personally, the early kill opportunities with Ignite and Exhaust are too much for me to give up one of them for another port.

If you are not yet used to using shumpo for smooth escapes you may want to use flash because it can and will safe your life at some point in many games.